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Zoning changes sought for Spring Meadows area

Springfield official wants quality development

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Springfield Township’s zoning inspector will ask trustees today for approval to begin work on amending planning and zoning regulations in the Spring Meadows area on Airport Highway.

The Blade/Amy E. Voigt
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Springfield Township’s zoning inspector will ask trustees today for approval to begin work on amending planning and zoning regulations in the Spring Meadows area on Airport Highway.

The proposal before trustees would allow the zoning department to revamp the Spring Meadows Overlay District, which stretches from Holland-Sylvania Road to Holloway Road.

The overlay district, which has been in place for years, addresses access management, landscaping, screening, building setback regulations, and construction design.

Jacob Barnes, township zoning inspector, said the idea behind the overlay project is to promote high-quality development in the Airport Highway corridor’s commercial area. “We want to introduce innovative building designs and encourage new development and redevelopment of existing sites,” he said.

Examples of designs mentioned by Mr. Barnes are the new McDonald’s on Airport and innovative window and door canopies and building designs at Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill in the Spring Meadows shopping center.

“You will see that entire area improve in looks and general traffic flow to that area. More and more people will come to that area,” Mr. Barnes said. “That whole area has continued to make improvements over the last few years.”

Features to improve accessibility for pedestrians and bicyclists will be looked at in the plans, including the requirement that future businesses install racks for bikes. Revamped zoning regulations could lessen the number of parking spaces required for new and redeveloped stores, businesses, and restaurants.

George Oravecz, a longtime developer and consulting engineer, said he believes changes envisioned for the area will improve economic development possibilities. “My experiences working with the township have been very favorable. They are very supportive of development in the community,” Mr. Oravecz said. “The requirements they have and demands on developers are not that restrictive, and the majority of them we had to encounter have been positive for development and redevelopment.”

The new overlay district plan would be reviewed by the staff of the Toledo-Lucas County Plan Commission. The panel would hold a public hearing in which the board would be asked for its recommendation for approval.

The plan would return to the township for a public hearing before the township zoning commission, with the final version going to the township trustees. “It should be in front of the township trustees before early spring,” Mr. Barnes said.

The trustees will meet at 7 p.m. today in the township chambers, 7617 Angola Rd., Holland.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.

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